I've been debating how to attack this subject the whole drive home, and I came to two conclusions:
1) The Rangers don't look so great without Gaborik, it's amazing how much of an impact he's made in his short tenure with the Rangers thus far. The Rangers powerplay looked as anemic as it did last season, registering one shot on goal in two chances. I was able to feel the tension of the Ranger fans around me, as they groaned every time the Rangers had an open side of the net and missed. It wasn't even that the Rangers weren't taking shots, they actually out shot the Isles 35-32 by the end of the game, it's just the shots the Rangers took were from such unbelievably bad locations that I found myself asking why would you shoot from there?
2) The second point is less on the game and more on the crowd itself. It's sort of unbelievable what the Islanders scoring the third goal did to Ranger fans in the audience. It's was akin to the Hulk's "you won't like me when I'm angry," it's as if they ripped through their clothes and turned green and started attacking anything within striking distance. I'm also not sure where a lot of the Ranger fans went after that goal was scored, and if they weren't being thrown out for fighting, they were running for the hills to beat the traffic. The normal "let's go Rangers" chants reverberated through the Coliseum through the first two periods, which was answered by the Isles fans chanting "Rangers suck," and of course the chicken dance was played as it usually is in Rangers-Islanders games at Nassau Coliseum.
A bonus thought, the Islanders REALLY, REALLY need a new arena. I guess I didn't notice it as much when I was sitting ice level for the Capitals game, but from the 300 seats, the Coliseum is looking horrible. There's actually not much appealing about the place, and I found myself saying over and over "I hate this place." I'm not really 100 percent sure that it's going to happen, but it really should. The Islander Ranger rivalry is one of the best in all of sports, and it'd really be a shame to see the Isles leave.
I really wish there was a lot more to talk about, but much like most Rangers Islanders games, it was just a chippy affair where one team really took the reins and that was more or less it, they're never great offensive shows or anything, although I have to believe if Gaborik was healthy, he'd put on a clinic.
Rangers fans should be a little concerned about the fact that the organization has been pretty tight lipped on what's ailing Gaborik, I do hope he returns soon, because the Rangers sure could use him right about now.
Oh and for your Tavares tracker, he put up the third goal of the game for the Islanders, so he now has 4 goals, 4 assists, and 8 points total. Not bad for a 19 year old kid.